With so many products on the market, choosing a new grill can be confusing. Some manufacturers, such as Weber, often have two or more similar model series on offer at any given time, making it difficult for some customers to pick one over the other.
Two of the most famous grills series are the Weber Spirit and Weber Genesis. When it comes to choosing between the Weber Spirit vs Genesis, the solution isn't immediately obvious, as both are liquid propane grills featuring multiple burners.
In the following review, we'll go into detail about the standout features of each grill in these two series in an effort to help you decide which one would best suit your needs. Also, we will give you a detailed look on products from the first generation and second generation of both these series; Genesis vs Spirit 2017 Grills and Spirit II vs Genesis II 2018 Grills.
Table of Contents
- Weber BBQ Grills Overview
- Spirit II or Genesis II: Which Weber Grill is the Best Option?
- Features to Consider when Choosing Spirit or Genesis
- 2 Burner Grills Comparison
- 3 Burner Grills Comparison
- Weber Genesis vs Spirit Comparison Table
- Weber Genesis vs Spirit: Which is Better?
Weber BBQ Grills Overview
Weber is one of the most well-know grilling brand in the world. It was born in 1952 by George Stephen, a welder for Weber Brothers Metal Works in Chicago was about to weld 2 buoy halves together when an idea came to build the first charcoal kettle grill.
During time, and after so many prototypes and demonstrations, he put together a working grill and the rest was history. (Source)
After about 30 years, the Weber Genesis Series was born. This series was focused on grill models with incorporated gas tubing, angled metal bars to prevent flare-ups also-known-as Flavorizer Bars, which disperse the heat evenly and prevent the drippings from reaching the flames.
The Spirit series are a more standard model grill models, with not so many advanced features and technology and as a result a much cheaper price. We will talk more about these below.
How to Read Weber Grill Series Codes
Understanding the Weber Grill Series Codes can be a bit overwhelming at first but once you understand the purpose of each character, you will easily identify each model and its features.
Each character notate the color, number of burners and the grate's building material.
In total, until now there are 3 Spirit Models, 4 Genesis II Models and 4 Genesis II LX Models.
Weber Series Codes:
- E-210 - 'E' stands for porcelain grates and '2' stands for 2 burners
- S-210 - 'S' stands for stainless grates and '2' for 2 burners
- E-310 - Porcelain grates and '3' for 3 burners instead of two
- E-330 - Porcelain grates, 3 burners, sear and side burners
- SP-310 - Stainless Grates, 3 Burners & Flavorizer Bars instead of porcelain
- SP-330 - Stainless Grates, 3 Burners & Bars with a Side Burner & Sear Station
- S-340 - New Genesis LX II - Stainless 3 Burners with Stainless Grates
- EP - Enamel Prestige Colors with Stainless Cooking Grates and Bars
The high-end grill series are the SP or EP series but you can choose the model you prefer.
Each series is also offered with Natural Gas at an additional cost.
The number of burners for each model impacts the heat power and size, so for example the Genesis II LX S-640 would be a stainless 6 burner grill.
Spirit II or Genesis II: Which Weber Grill is the Best Option?
Note: The comparison and the details down below are based on the Second Generation of the Spirit and Genesis Series. The second-gen is the newest generation of the Weber Grills also-known-as Spirit II and Genesis II Series.
I have also included a comparison and review for a few first-gen models at the end of this article, if you are looking for a more affordable grill.
Basic Differences: Weber Spirit vs Genesis
Weber Spirit grills are priced in the lower mid-range for their size, and are considered a good "starter" product for those who cook out only occasionally or are just getting into grilling as a hobby. Their use is exceptionally easy to master, and they can be used to grill just about anything. Weber updated the Spirit series in 2018, naming it Spirit II, making the latest round of models are as new as they could possibly be.
The Genesis models feature more sophisticated technology, and are therefore geared toward serious grillers. While still user-friendly, they come with more proverbial bells and whistles than the Spirit models, as evidenced by the higher price tags. They're also slightly more durable, though, so the increase in price might be worth it, depending on how often you use your grill. The latest Genesis upgrades were completed in 2017.
Finally, note that all Spirit and Genesis grills come with a 10-year, 100 percent Weber guarantee included in the purchase price.
Styling & Design Differences
When it comes to styling and design differences, both series have some slightly differences overall, especially around displays, knobs and other small part's details.
Note: I think that styling and design is not a very important decision factor because it is based on the buyers preference and what something may look good for someone, it may not look good for the other.
Overall, the Spirit has a nice, upright design. The tank is held inside and you can access it using a door. This way, it offers more protection from weather and rainy environments. The entire cooking box is made of cast aluminum.
The Genesis models have a open cart design, so it is not as attractive as the closed-cart models. With this type of design, you have to keep the tank outside. Overall, there are more high-quality built parts, with more attention to details on the thermometer dash, burner knobs, lid handle and badge.
Features to Consider when Choosing Spirit or Genesis
Note: Click to expand into details for each feature.
Difference in Power and Grilling Performance
When it comes to performance and grilling, there are several other factors that come into play, including convenience, burners, BTUs etc.
Both these series offer high performance models. The burners on both series have a unique tapered shape that deliver consistent heat flow from front to back.
Spirit models tend to have a slightly smaller cooking space resulting in fewer burgers or food cooked at the same time and some entry models don't enough hooks or place to put the additional attachments.
The Genesis models have the iGrill 3 Ready system incorporated which can improve your grilling performance a lot. Read more about that down below.
Genesis vs Spirit Construction Quality
If you compare both these series using the construction quality as a main factor, then Genesis models win this round.
All Genesis models are built using more high-quality and more durable construction materials. This means that Genesis grills tend to last a bit longer during the years and under different weather conditions. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't maintain it at all. Maintenance is a different part and will always needed if you want your grill to last.
Even though Genesis have more durable construction materials, Weber still gives you 10 years Guarantee Warranty for both series.
Which Series is Easier to Clean and Maintain?
If you want your grill to last, you should properly maintain it. One of the basic maintenance is the cleaning after you finish cooking. But, how easy is to maintain and clean models from both these series?
Both of them are extremely easy to clean as they have been designed to help you with that.
As for the Spirit models, they have a minor grease management system built into and the Flavorizer Bars help to move the drippings away from the cooking place.
The Genesis models have an entire built in grease management system which helps you remove the grease while minimizing the risk of flare-ups. This system funnel the drippings from the burners into the disposable drip tray and all you have to do is empty it as it needed.
As you may already noticed, when it comes to a easier cleaning and maintenance, the Genesis wins this round.
Difference in Price
One factor that you should consider when choosing between Spirit II or Genesis II series is the difference in price.
Genesis Models are usually more expensive than the Spirit models. This is due to several improvements and overall more high quality built.
If you can live without Bluetooth thermometer and are very careful at maintaining your grill, then don't spend a couple of hundreds of dollars more on a Genesis Series Model but just go with Spirit instead.
What is the GS4 High Performance Grilling System?
The GS4 High Performance Grilling System is a technology package included in the latest version series of Weber Grills. It was not available on the First-Gen 2017 Weber Spirit Grills but it is included in the Second-Gen Spirit Grills.
If you want to have a detailed look of this technology, you can look at this short video from Weber, explaining all the key features and how this system works:
Based on what Weber shows on the video, the GS4 system isn't anything special. It is a package of a few improvements and new features.
All Weber Models come with Flavorizer Bars now, with the expection of the Weber Q Series. The GS4 system redesigns the Flavorizer bars to have slots shaped in half-moon, so you can see the burner's flames better.
Another improvement included in the GS4 is the new grease management system. They have relocated the drip tray by a few inches.
In GS4 package, a new Infinity Ignition System is included. This type of ignition can be considered a major upgrade and improvement when compared to the past ignition systems. Weber promises that this new ignition system lights the burners up the first time every time. I haven't personally tested this new system but since the Weber upgraded the warranty from 2 years to 10 years, then I think that it is going to work perfectly.
One major difference I noticed in the models with GS4 Grilling system are the burner tubes.
Even though both series of grills have 10 year warranty on the burner tubes, the Genesis series with GS4 have a bit more high-tech burner tubes. The Genesis II models have tapered rectangular burners that are designed to provide even flame distribution across the entire grilling surface. The Spirit II models still have the older tubular burners, which sometimes produce sputtering flames at the end of the burner tube where the gas pressure is low.
If the all the upper mentioned improvements and features justify the higher price included with the Genesis II series with GS4 incorporated, then you should consider getting one of these.
'iGrill 3 Ready' System
All the new generation Weber grills are being advertised as 'iGrill3 Ready' products. But, what is this system?
The iGrill3 system is a nice Bluetooth-enabled thermometer that gives you the capability of monitoring your grill from your phone.
What Weber consider 'iGrill3 Ready' are the models that have a dedicated place on the front to place the iGrill3 Attachment after you buy it separately.
I think that iGrill3 is a cool attachment to have but considering that you will buy a grill which will probably last about 10-15 years, this attachment will be outdated in 3-5 years and be replaced with a new more improved attachment, so there is no need to consider it as a buying factor.
2 Burner Grills Comparison
Spirit II E-210 vs Genesis E-210
The Weber Spirit E-210 comes in a variety of colors: black, ivory, red, or sapphire. Its features include the following:
- Two burners with porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates
- Good burner-control technology
- "Flavorizer Bars" to help impart a steakhouse quality to the food
- Grease management system to reduce flare-ups and make cleanup easier
- 450 square inches of cooking space
- An open-cart design
- A low to midrange price point
The Genesis E-210 features the following (be forewarned that it's only available in black):
- Two burners with porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates
- Advanced burner-control technology
- "Flavorizer" bars
- Grease management system
- 380 square inches of cooking space, plus a "Tuck-Away" warming rack measuring 114 square inches (this is located above the grilling surface)
- Two stainless-steel side-prep work stations, with hooks for storing tools
- An open-cart design
- A midrange price point
(Video) Spirit II Features & Benefits
As you can see, there are more similarities than differences, so which one should you choose?
Both grills have an attractive design, but if looks are a big factor in your decision, Spirit gets the edge in that category on account of the color choices. The Spirit is also priced more reasonably, and is well worth the money. The Genesis wins points in the durability department, but the "Flavorizer" bars are still likely to need replacing every two or three years, making the higher price tag less attractive in the long run.
In short, while the Genesis has some convenient benefits working in its favor, there isn't all that much to differentiate it from its Spirit cousin. For a grill of this size and style, you'd be better off saving money with the Spirit II E-210.
This earlier version of Spirit's most highly recommended model is a bare-bones version of the one described above. It features two burners with 450 square inches of cooking space, a closed-cart design, and a color choice of either black or stainless steel. If you're looking for a real bargain and don't care overmuch about the features, this reasonably priced grill might be just the ticket.
The Weber Genesis II LX S-240 is the top of the line 2-burner grill coming from Weber.
It comes with an upgraded stainless steel cooking grate, heavy duty stainless steel Flavorizer Bars, a side burner, very powerful with high heat burners and an overall stainless steel body.
It comes with a total of 380 square inches of cooking space and with 114 square inch Tuck-Away warming rack overhead, just like the Genesis II 210.
One worth-mentioning feature is the incorporated GS4 High Performance Grilling System from Weber.
The warranty of the grates and Flavorizer Bars is 10 years, twice as long as other models like Genesis II and the Spirit, with 5 years each.
3 Burner Grills Comparison
Spirit II E-310 vs Genesis II E-310
Spirit's latest version of this model is priced slightly higher than the E-210, but with good reason: It's a three-burner grill with 529 square inches of cooking space, which gives it enough surface area to cook foods like chuck roast for five to seven people. Aside from the extra space, its features are virtually identical to the E-210. The color choices of black, ivory, red, and sapphire are also the same.
Similarly, the Genesis counterpart features three burners and 513 square inches of cooking space, and the "Tuck-Away" warming rack has grown to 156 inches. It can feed the same amount of people as the Spirit model, and comes with color options of either black or stainless steel. In addition to the extra cooking space, the Genesis II E-310 provides two stainless steel side-prep work spaces, along with hooks for tool storage. Again, the price is mid-range to high for this type of grill.
These are, essentially, size upgrades; the ignition and burner technology don't show any noticeable improvement over the E-210 series. As such, the same verdict applies. Unless you're routinely cooking for large groups, and would therefore appreciate the extra space that the "Tuck-Away" warming rack provides, the Spirit model would likely do just as well.
(Video) Genesis II Features & Benefits
As I said before, Weber discontinued the first-gen Spirit series in 2017 but there are still some inventory available on Amazon and other online stores. You can even check at your Local Home Appliances store.
The last time I checked online, this model was available on a pretty big discount and you can save some big money if you are considering picking it, making it an even better deal.
This model comes with heavy duty cast iron grates and plenty of cooking space to grill and prepare food for up to six people. (424 Square Inches of cooking area and 105 square inch of secondary area to be specific)
Another three-burner Genesis option, this grill has the distinction of being iGrill 3 compatible (note that the iGrill is sold separately). When the iGrill 3 is plugged into the provided port, it can tell you the exact cooking temperature at any given moment.
With the exception of this technologically advanced benefit, however, the S-310 is essentially a clone of the Genesis E-310, featuring the same amount of cooking space and a near-identical design. It might be a handy tool for the most sophisticated of grillers, but you'll pay for the convenience.
This is a deluxe option, featuring all of the qualities of a 310 model with the added benefit of a flush-mounted side burner, as well as the extra prep space and hooks for tool storage.
The only other real distinction is its closed-cart design, which makes the grill appear larger and bulkier than it really is.
Also, Weber has incorporated the GS4 High Performance Grilling System in this model, just like in the Genesis II LX S-240.
Weber Genesis vs Spirit Comparison Table
450 Sq. In
494 Sq. In
494 Sq. In
529 Sq. In
669 Sq. In
669 Sq. In
Weber Genesis vs Spirit: Which is Better?
To recap, let's break down the best features and benefits of both grill series:
- Attractive design
- Great value
- Easy to use and maintain
- Good for all types of grilling
- Good heat control
- A nice "starter grill" for the inexperienced
- High-quality, durable materials used in construction
- Attractive and highly functional design
- Sophisticated burner systems for the discerning griller
- Advanced technology in heat control
- Lots of space for prep and storage
Taking all of this into consideration, it's difficult to choose between the two, but the edge goes to the Spirit. Here's why:
- The price is right.
- The value makes up for the lack of fancy gadgets.
- They feature more basic cooking space than their Genesis counterparts.
- They're great for beginners, but offer enough benefits to appeal to more experienced grillers as well.
In conclusion, while you're likely to be happy with either option, there are more reasons to choose Spirit over Genesis, especially if grilling is only a casual pastime. We recommend the Spirit II E-210 as an entry grill for a small family but if you want a more advanced and bigger grill, with some fancy features/tech, you can get the Genesis II E-310.